Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Self-Talk: Coaching Ourselves for Trading Success

There is no more important coaching relationship than the relationship you have with yourself.

How do you talk to yourself when you start your day?  When you are in losing trades or drawdowns?  When you are traversing your learning curve?

Our self-talk creates our most immediate psychological environment.

Do you talk to yourself the way you would speak with a loved one or a dear friend?  Do you motivate yourself?  Inspire yourself?  Challenge yourself?  Support yourself?

You wouldn't want to work for an employer that wasn't constructive, motivating, inspiring, challenging, and supportive.  Why would you settle for that as your internal workplace?

Successful traders, I find, may or may not make use of formal coaching, but they are generally good self-coaches.  They know when to give themselves a kick in the pants and when to be their own best friend.

I've long defined my work as a psychologist as comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable.  That's also not a bad formulation for effective self-talk:  staying constructive when things go wrong and challenging ourselves when things go right.  Effective self-talk is much more than empty positive thinking:  it's staying constructive no matter how challenging life and markets become.

Further Reading:  We Become What We Think